It`s easy enough to write down ´climb a volcano´on a list when you`re sat on your cosy warm sofa. But it was as I was putting on all the gear needed to climb Volcan Villarrica in Pucon, Chile, that I realised it might not be a walk in the park.
First came the thick water-proof trousers and jacket, followed by heavy boots, gloves and a hard hat. We were also give ice-picks and although I may have looked the part I realised I had no idea what I was doing.
|The preparations begin (just don’t tell anyone we have no idea what we’re doing!)
Our first task was getting up to the starting point of the climb on a chair-lift, something which always terrifies me as I feel sure that I`m going to be the person who falls off in a Bridget Jones-esque style. However, having managed to safely navigate that task, it was on to the next one – attaching crampons to our shoes to enable us to walk on the ice and listening to our safety talk. The only problem was out instructor only spoke Spanish, which the other three members of my group did not. So it was left to me to translate his commands into English. I wasn`t too sure how I felt about the group`s safety being based on my interpretations which went something along the lines of “er…keep your ice-pick above you at all times or if you slip you´ll fall down the mountain” and “um, I think he`s saying ´if you fall, keep your legs up or the crampons could break them´.” Eventually, after a lot of gesturing, pointing and nodding, we were ready to go.
|Sitting out the storm…
|I’m taking my number 7!